"Literature / Poetry" Essays

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Metaphysical Poetry of John Donne Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (2,009 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


This poem is again juxtaposed with the extreme spiritual optimism of "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning," where the poet affirms the faith he has struggled through a lifetime to acquire. It is the completeness of both romantic love and spiritual truth.

This is also done in "The Flea," where the poet compares human life and death to the "murder" of a flea. The image appears trivial, but combined with the importance of human life, the effect is profound. Donne here finds meaning and perfection in the smallest thing, and even in repulsive things. The almost sexual image of the flea mixing the blood of lovers in its belly is conceivably repulsive to the 17th century reader. This may be tied in once again with the poet's profound insecurity in established rules of religion. By breaking the "rules" prevalent in the poetic genre of the time, Donne can be seen to rebel in the only way he is able to against the spiritual constraints that have been part of his whole life.

It is interesting that Donne's love poetry forms such a contrast with his religious poetry. It is as if in love Donne was able to express himself much more sincerely and profoundly than in his love for God. Like the lovers in "The Canonization"[6] the poet appears to be able to separate completely the concept of romantic love from both life in general and from religion. It was thus for him something pure and completely untainted by either death or sin.

It can thus be said that poetically John Donne found a much more fulfilling aspect of life in his relationship with his wife than in his relationship with God. The two relationships were however also intermingled, as Anne was for him the inspiration towards holiness. The fact remains that all of the poems created by this artist retains a profound beauty, and captures the spirit of his age with a depth that will be meaningful in the centuries to come.

The apparent parody of this poem can then also be seen as a "violent yoke." Lovers are placed on the same level as saints, who are by definition free of the constraints of romantic and physical love.


Brooks, C. "The Language of Paradox." In The Language of Poetry. Edited by Allen Tate. New York: Russell & Russell, 1960.

Eliot, T.S. "The Metaphysical Poets." In Selected Essays. London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1934.

Gardner, H. "The Religious Poetry of John Donne." In John Donne, A Collection of Critical Essays. Edited by Helen Gardner. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentic-Hall, Inc., 1962.

Gardner, H. Religion and Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971.

Winny, J. A Preface to Donne. London: Longman, 1981.


Donne, John:

Valediction Forbidding Mourning. http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/mourning.htm

Holy Sonnets." http://members.aol.com/ericblomqu/donne.htm

Love's Infiniteness. http://oldpoetry.com/poetry/7568

Love's Usury. http://www.online-literature.com/donne/344/

The Canonization. http://www.online-literature.com/donne/345/

The Flea. http://vp.engl.wvu.edu/Aloud/conread.html

The Paradox." http://www.online-literature.com/donne/386/

The Will." http://www.online-literature.com/donne/375… [read more]

WWI and Literature World War Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,616 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


This realism marked most important literary pieces produced during and immediately after the Great War. Hemingway's war poems indicate the fact that he seriously thought about war and its futility. Some of the best war stories of this time include "In Another Country," "Now I Lay Me," and "A Way You'll Never Be."

But apart from people like Hemingway, American literature did not produce any significant war poets and/or verses that could show clear effects of WWI. Though there were vast number of verses created during this period, the quality was rather inferior as Harvey (1993) writes: "...more than 99 per cent of First World War poetry is not very impressive, and if 99.9 per cent of First World War poets were not as good as Wilfred Owen or Isaac Rosenberg."

WWI though had a serious impact on American literature of the time; still most of the fiction and poems produced during and immediately after the war were soon forgotten. Only few writers and poets stayed in picture after the war hysteria died down. But WWI had long lasting effects on American literature of later years, as realism became the most sought after style and theme.


A.D. Harvey, First World War literature. Magazine Title: History Today. Volume: 43. Publication Date: November 1993.

Fussell, Paul. The Great War and Modern Memory. New York: Oxford UP, 1975.

Hemingway, Ernest. Complete Poems. Lincoln: U. Of Nebraska, 1983.

Granville Hicks, The Great Tradition: An Interpretation of American Literature since the Civil War. Publisher: Biblo and Tannen. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1967.

Cowley, Malcolm. "Hemingway's Wound -- And Its Consequences for American Literature." The Georgia Review Summer 1984: 223-39.

Suzanne Raitt, Trudi Tate, Women's Fiction and the Great War. Publisher: Clarendon Press. Place of Publication: Oxford. Publication Year: 1997

Jane Potter, 'A great purifier': The Great…… [read more]

Poetry of William Butler Yeats Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,461 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


However, as his poetry matured, so did his images of Ireland, such as in a later work, "No Second Troy," which celebrates the noble beauty of Ireland, but laments the troubles the Irish people are facing under English rule. "That nobleness made simple as a fire, / With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind / That is not natural… [read more]

English Literature. Robert Browning Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (2,211 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


" http://caxton.stockton.edu/browning/stories/storyReader$8

Barret made use of his intelligence and techniques of writing to help his husband in his literary work. Due to the involvement of his wife and her ideas numerous poems were written and developed which are counted amongst the top listers of Robert Browning's poems. His mastery of dramatic monologue is also one of the positive attributes of… [read more]

British Poetry of the 19Th Century Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,309 words)
Bibliography Sources: 8


¶ … narrative technique in poetry of the nineteenth century is to discuss the various meanings and symbols written in the words of that era. Victorian poetry, including Romantic poetry, included an eclectic mix. The authors of these kinds of poetry loved to experiment and broadened not only the range of English poetry, but also subject-matter, and method, to an unmatched extent. The writers of this era paid attention to narrative because that is how they felt the words would be expressed best. Their focus was that on description, feeling, and persistent thought. Foremost poets like Arnold, Browning, Tennyson, and Keats demonstrated consistent techniques that became synonymous with Victorian and Romantic poetry.

"To Marguerite: Continued" a poem by Matthew Arnold, was first published in 1852. It was intended as a sequel to "Isolation: To Marguerite." And was a part of the title, "To Marguerite, in Returning a Volume of the Letters of Ortis." When examining the poem, the first stanza delivers a metaphor consisting of comparison of humans to islands. These islands, encompassed by the world and life around them, is also surrounded by the sea. The most famous of his lines in the poem: "we mortal millions live alone" can be interpreted as commentary on the lives of people of the Victorian era. People although together, were a world apart, drifting into their own thoughts, feelings, and secrets thus setting the tone for the poem.

His feelings, the speaker of the poem, are for someone, a romantic connection, that he feels is impossible. The poem remarks on life, as incontrollable, dark, and most of all, disconnected, isolative. Using science to explain the once united and connected land mass on earth to the now fragmented nature of the modern world, one can see the hopelessness of this narrative. There is no resolve, no journey to connection, it is simply a capture of the feelings within the poem, of sadness, madness, and confusion.

Although there is some desire for hope: "Oh might our marges meet again!" (), there still lie unresolved despair as the connections the speaker seeks cannot and will not come. And the water, the "estranging sea" is what divides them, the water, the feelings, they are what keep land masses from becoming united into one. The sea is the framing device and the island an example of word play. Although Marguerite was never mentioned, it could be seen as a deleted affair as the romantic desire is there, but not directly expressed.

Browning's "Porphyria's Lover" possesses natural language. However unlike Browning's other, later poems, it lacks the dialectical markers or colloquialisms Browning is more known for. Additionally the pattern of the verses are a rhyming ABABB even though the rhythm of the poem copycats natural speech. The irregularity and power of the pattern proposes insanity hidden within the speaker's coherent self-presentation.

In terms of narrative, it uses a scene typically from Romantic poetry. A storm outdoors, the speaker, warm and comfortable in the cottage. The image of simplicity… [read more]

Russian Literature and Vladimir Sorokin Essay

Essay  |  10 pages (3,099 words)
Bibliography Sources: 7


Russian Literature and Vladimir Sorokin: What Is the Goal and Is the Soviet Response Reasonable

The plots in the two novels by Vladimir Sorokin are sharply different, however the author's approach appears to be relatively similar. The use of extreme depictions of violence and unusual rituals are evident in both Next Item on the Agenda and Four Stout Hearts. Whether… [read more]

Russian Literature -- Journal Entry Book Report

Book Report  |  8 pages (2,696 words)
Bibliography Sources: 7


Russian Literature -- Journal

Entry #1 -- Bezhin Meadows -- Ivan Turgenev -- "I finally reached the corner of the woods… but there was no road there at all…an empty field was visible."

What an absolutely perfect representation of the Russian soul -- empty fields, no roads, unmet expectations, broad, unkempt forests, night closing in, overgrown paths. It seems as… [read more]

Nature in Robert Frost's Poetry Research Paper

Research Paper  |  4 pages (1,109 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4



Poetry is how some authors express their feelings about a subject or attitude that is occurring around them. The poems by Robert Frost that have been studied all discuss how man and nature are separate from one another. He uses nature as a metaphor to explain a situation with man. "Frost uses nature as metaphor. He observes something in nature and says this is like that. He leads you to make a connection, but never forces it on the reader. Read on a literal level, Frost's poems always make perfect sense. His facts are correct, especially in botanical and biological terms. But he is not trying to tell nature stories nor animal stories. He is always using these metaphorically implying an analogy to some human concern" (Frost and Nature). Along with that, Frost also saw nature being able to destroy man but at the same time, he saw man's struggle with nature. Therefore, Frost's poetry gives a different outlook about nature by using it as a metaphor for his poems


Frost believes that people should express what they feel through poetry like he used nature as metaphor. For example, in the poem, "Birches," he uses ice storms to explain how people have to face the truth before everything falls apart without being able to fix it. It clearly shows that the poet is a poet that thinks with emotions. This is due to the fact that people must face their obstacles and overcome them before they become unfixable as it is seen from the following "Birches" stanza

Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them

Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning

After a rain. They click upon themselves

As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored

As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.

Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells

Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust

Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away

This poetry helps people to understand that they must face their problem before they are uncontrollable. Sometimes when facing problems, a person needs support to overcome them without feeling overwhelmed. If people have socially supportive arrangements as the attributes of socially legitimate roles which provide for the meeting dependency needs without loss of esteem, they are less likely to show aggression while suppressing destructive behavior. Social support can also serve as a salve to pains encountered along the way. It gives people the confidence to making a positive change and testing their limits when they know they have a community of support they can call upon. Social support refers to social interactions that are perceived by the recipient to facilitate coping and assist in responding to stress. Social support is thought to reduce the total amount of stress a person experience as well as to help one cope better when stressed (Landau, J., Garrett, J., & Webb, R p. 498-2008). From there, socially supportive environments were presented as pattern interpersonal relationships mediated through shared values and sentiments as well as… [read more]

African and African-American Poetry Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (732 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


African/African-American Poetry

Poetry Analysis of Baraka and Soyinka

Amiri Baraka and Wole Soyinka are both voices of the black experience, but their differences in background, philosophy, and motive highlight the extreme separation of the black experience in the United States and in Africa. Baraka's poetry is punctuated, both in content and in style, by the angry forcefulness of someone who participated in the difficult birth of civil rights in America, while Soyinka's poetry is pervaded by the sadness and quiet patience of someone who has watched his country turn upon itself with deadly consequences.

In Baraka's poem "Fresh Zombies," the sharpness and bitterness for which he is known comes through not only in the content, but in his edgy use of syncopated rhythms, alliterative word play, and aggressive diction. His disgust with the younger generation is introduced with a litany of strong verbs that land like punches on the psyche of the reader: "Stink… Lie… Betray… Assassinate" (1-3). This is followed by an indictment in the form of a series of complicated double-entendres and near-homophones: "Not old toms / but New Toms, Double Toms / a Tom Macoute" (3-5). In addition to bringing in connotations of Uncle Tom ("New Toms") and the notorious death squads of Papa Doc in Haiti ("Tom Macoute"), the passage reiterates the rapid, punching rhythm with which the poem started. The stark violence of this rhythm is reinforced with the repetition of the passage at the end of the poem.

In contrast, Soyinka's "In the Small Hours" uses repetitive rhythms, diction, and alliteration to create an entrancing atmosphere that melts around the edges and never quite becomes concrete. Like "Fresh Zombies," "In the Small Hours" contains a series of verbs in its first few lines, but unlike Baraka's brutal strikes, these verbs land softly and fade: "Mutes…wreathes…Dims" (3-4). Soyinka's use of sibilant syllables intensifies this mesmerizing effect. In the second stanza, he describes "Applause…steeped in lassitude, / Tangled in webs of lovers' whispers" (12-13). In these lines, the shifting sibilance of the words, the sticky metaphor of the web, and the image of applause drenched in languidness combine to evoke the stupor of the bar and its patrons. Where Baraka used poetic…… [read more]

Beowulf as a Hero Lesson 1 Journal Journal

Journal  |  19 pages (8,817 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Beowulf as a Hero

Lesson 1 Journal Entry #

Journal Exercise 1.3A: What makes a hero?

Beowulf is a hero who possesses strength, courage and loyalty; these are the elements that make up a hero during his time. There is a certain heroic code that must be followed in Beowulf and Beowulf follows that code perfectly. During the course of… [read more]

American Literature Which Can Be Viewed Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,789 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … American literature which can be viewed as groundbreaking for the era they were created as well as for the subjects they dealt with. The 70s and the 80s represented a very important period in the history of the United States because it reflected the struggle of the American people for acceptance. There are in this case particular works… [read more]

Poetry Often Use Imagery Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (689 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … poetry often use imagery as a way to connect the reader to the work. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate this specific use of imagery by analyzing the four following poems: Bogland by Seamus Heaney, The lake of Innisfree, by WB Yeats, Dylan Thomas "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" and Seamus Heaney uses strong visual images in order to construct the landscape of his country Ireland. The images however have a powerful metaphorical and symbolical dimension. The space which is open towards infinity "we have no prairies/To slice a big sun at evening" (Heaney, 1-2) is actually a metaphor for the free spirit of its inhabitants and the infinite possibilities of development they are provided with. The island therefore becomes a symbol of freedom, associated with perpetual creation. "Butter sunk under / More than a hundred years/Was recovered salty and white. / The ground itself is kind, black butter" (Heaney, 13-16) where butter suggests the root of life in the island is strong and fertile, thus allowing for a constant recreation of the country and its spirit.

The image of the soil's fertility is translated into a concept of the life's fertility and ultimately into spiritual fertility. The readers are brought into the poet's vision through a strong imagery connected not only to landscapes, but also to mindscapes. Innisfree on the other hand, still a symbol of freedom, is the place where the poet can escape. The imagery depicts an almost paradisaical island set in the middle of lake waters in clear opposition with the civilized world where the poet feels oppressed. The grey pavement creates not only a sad and gloomy image, but also communicates an inner stare. From an imagery which depicts reality, Yeats passes to one depicting the spiritual reality: "And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,/Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;" (Yeats, 5-6).

The use of imagery is somewhat different in "Do not go gentle into that good night." Here the metaphorical…… [read more]

"Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?": Word Choice, Tone, and Point-Of-View Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,185 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Shakespeare Poem

Shakespeare on Love and Death

William Shakespeare is largely held in such high esteem by writers, scholars and historians because of the breadth and depth of his work as a playwright. It may be said that the universality and continued relevance of his folios is predicated by their unique plumbing of the depths of human experience and their unflinching confrontation of emotions and ethical debates which remain pertinent today. However, there is another dimension of Shakespeare's plays which distinguishes them from many bodies of work in literary history which do approach these same themes. Namely, it is the bard's poetic dexterity that makes his work so timeless. His turn of phrase is unlike that of any other and his prolific career is matched only by the many individual moments of rhetorical profundity. It is thus that we consider the poem "Shall I compare thee to a Summer's Day?," which stands as evidence apart from his work as a playwright to demonstrate the poetic lucidity which is at the core of this work.

Word Choice:

Word choice is one of Shakespeare's most notable strengths. Indeed, it is often said that Shakespeare possessed an enormous vocabulary, so much to the point that his authorship of so many works has been called into doubt under the assumption that one man of his background could not have known so many words. With respect to the poem in question though, the focus is on the economy of his decisions. Capable of great complexity, the poet's work here is quite appealing for its simplicity. An explicitly stated simile characterizing what we may assume to be the subject of the poet's romantic intentions as she compares to a summer's day, the work is plotted out according to a set of well-played devices.

Among the devices that carry the greatest impact in his poem, Shakespeare's personification of death offers a deeply compelling impression in the poem's eventual resolution. Here, the poem intones, "Nor shall death brag thou wand' rest in his shade," using this representation of death as a way of magnifying the scope of the beauty in its subject. There is a hyperbolic sentiment which befits a poem of love to its recipient, and which here attributes some human traits as boastfulness and desire to the otherwise abstract notion of death. To portray it this way is for Shakespeare to suggest that the subject of his poem is so beautiful as to inspire vain longing even in death. Moreover, it serves as a vehicle for the poet to ultimately declare that his subject is so beautiful that death would ultimately not be sufficient to deprive the world of it. The poet tells that "So long as men can breathe or eyes can see / So long lives this, and his gives life to thee." This is to denote that her beauty will remain to haunt all of those who have beheld her, a sentiment which the grave word choice here renders so deeply compelling.

Tone:… [read more]

Charge of the Light Brigade -- History Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (920 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


Charge of the Light Brigade -- History and Literature

What is the relationship between history and literature? Is one subordinate to the other? What can we learn, for example, from the stories you read (be specific)? Does knowledge of history make a story more powerful, more "real?" Does history create literature and, in turn, literature creates history?

The discipline of history is both an art and science, designed to uncover the knowledge of culture, society and motivations of past civilizations. In such, it is beyond the idea of rote memorization of names, dates, and places and focuses more on the establishment of a verifiable past based on appropriate documents, interpretation, and an overall understand of the society in question and its relationship to other societies and future trends. The study includes who wrote what and in what time frame, bias, preconceptions, and audience (Bently, 1994). Literature, on the other hand, is also a process of artistically utilizing the written word in several genres (e.g. nonfiction, fiction, poetry, etc.), but with less stringent research requirements and greater allowances for opinion, fantasy, and speculation. To say that both are interrelated, though, is an understatement. Both not only chronicaol events but give the reader a greater insight into actual individual implications, feedback, and the way grand events impact individuals on a day-to-day basis (Frisina., 1999).

Literature is a medium which allows the witer to take events, be they maco or micro-events, and place them into the human context -- or living history. While individual reactions may or may not be indicative of the broad base of society, literature has the power to make one "feel" events as opposed to reading "about" them. One example might be Boris Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago. Certainly there is historical fact within the novel, the Russian Revolution, Civil War, and disasterous entry into World War I. However, instead of a broad societal picture, Pasternak's novel uses a familial grouping to allow the audience to "feel" the events, the pain, the anguish, and hopelessness, and the way that overt, political events impacted the individual (Rosenberg, 1995).

The paradigm of literature creating history or history creating literature is akin to the chicken and the egg maxim. In some cases, historical events are a basis for literature: poems such as The Charge of the Light Brigade, novels like Doctor Zhivago and Gone with the Wind. However, other novels and pieces of literature have the power to incite, to critically analyze what is happening in society, and to influence historical events; (e.g. Candide or Uncle Tom's Cabin). One must be cautious, however, since it is the victor that often writes the history of an event, and certain aspects of literature tend to glorify and magnify events into almost mythical proportions.

Why does Acton…… [read more]

Love Theme of Langston Hughes Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,356 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … Langston Hughes' poetry appears to this author to center around mother and son. Due to the bad relationship with his father, he was particularly close to his mother. This was vital relationship and by extension may have reflect badly upon many of the male models (particularly his father). It is the assertion of the author that this conflict was reflected in his biracial identity as well as in the relationship with both parents and was worked out eventually successfully later on in life in his poetry.

A good example of this type of poem of the theme of love between mother and son can be found in "Mother to Son." In this poem, the mother ruminates upon the hard life that she has had, particularly as a black woman. This particular theme of love is complicated by the theme of the mulatto that runs through much of Hughes' poetry. With this in mind, this author will also center in on three of Hughes' other poems for analysis as well: "Sweet brown Harlem Girl" and "Love Song for Linda."

"Mother to Son" presents the contradictory love role of the African-American mother. She is often in a double bind with regard to her duties in her role as mother. On the one hand, she wants the best for her son which may compromise his role as a black man. On the other, she is a proud black woman who chaffs at this compromise. In 1926, Hughes wrote an article in the Nation magazine that explores the contradictory role of both parents of a family he terms as "the negro middle class" that is not only busy keeping up with the Jones family, but the white Jones family in particular. This double self-hating entendre is spelled out as follows:

But let us look at the immediate background of this young poet. His family is of what I suppose one would call the Negro middle class: people who are by no means rich yet never uncomfortable nor hungry -- smug, contented, respectable folk, members of the Baptist church. The father goes to work every morning. He is a chief steward at a large white club. The mother sometimes does fancy sewing or supervises parties for the rich families of the town. The children go to a mixed school. In the home they read white papers and magazines. And the mother often says "Don't be like niggers" when the children are bad. A frequent phrase from the father is, "Look how well a white man does things." And so the word white comes to be unconsciously a symbol of all virtues. It holds for the children beauty, morality, and money. The whisper of "I want to be white" runs silently through their minds. This young poet's home is, I believe, a fairly typical home of the colored middle class. One sees immediately how difficult it would be for an artist born in such a home to interest himself in interpreting the beauty of… [read more]

Poetry Has Been Used to Evoke Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (721 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Poetry has been used to evoke a variety of emotions and life experiences. The epic poems of history transformed into structured sonnets and the form continues to evolve. In recent time there emerged a new type of poetry that resisted strict structure in preference of a sort of stream of consciousness. Charles Bukowski's "Are you drinking?" is an example of subverting a genre by taking a short conversational story, ultimately a prose poem, and adding emphasis with line breaks.

Reading this poem evokes every moment that I've felt exhausted -- either by life, or work. Regardless of the obvious differences between my life experiences and those of Bukowski's, his working-man tone effectively conjures up an overall exhaustion that works for anyone of any class. The image of washed up yellow notebook takes on more meaning by adding a hyphen in washed-up. Already from the first word there is an image evoked of a tired and washed up person and then the words that follow take that impression and apply it to a tattered notebook that Bukowski writes in. This lived in and aged feeling implies that writing is what makes Bukowski who he is, but it is not a glamorous endeavor and is, in fact, just a facet of who he is without any sort of fanfare.

Meeting with his doctor, Bukowski predicts their conversation and it takes on a rote quality laced with the overall weariness that was one his themes. The various injuries and illnesses are catalogued and emphasized by more inventive line breaks. Within the lines "are you drinking?" he will ask/"are you getting your/exercise, your/vitamins?" The line breaks following your makes the emphasis personal not only to the author, but for the reader. As I read that passage aloud I start to think about my own aches and pain- not only the physical, but also the mental fatigues that flare up every once in a while as a result of nothing so much as life.

Even Bukowski thinks his pains are nothing special, but just the result of life and all of its "fluctuating/factors." The alliteration between the two words brought emphasis out for me and…… [read more]

Poetry Amiri Baraka Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,127 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


¶ … Black Poem:

The Convergence of Culture, Art, and Identity

in the Works of Amiri Baraka

It is difficult to characterize Amiri Baraka's legacy in American literature and pop culture. He is deeply respected by some, deeply reviled by others. He has been considered a national treasure and a national disgrace. His poems have inspired, intrigued, empowered, terrified, and disgusted readers for over five decades. This extreme range of reactions speaks to the power of Baraka's artistic voice, a power that he uses to provoke emotion, reflection, and revolution both in individual readers and in society as a whole. As he said in a speech given at Rutgers University in 1997, "form and content are weapons of self-consciousness and revolution" (Chicago Review 111). Over the past fifty years, Baraka has used the "weapon" of his writing to eviscerate the concepts of race, sexuality, gender, and faith that underlie American society, sometimes in broad hacks and sometimes with surgeon-like precision. While his cuts are often brutal, they are never meaningless; every word serves to expose, explore, and expunge hypocrisy and injustice as he finds them.

Born Everett LeRoi Jones in 1934, Amiri Baraka first came to public attention as a member of the literary avant-garde in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s. As was the case with many of his contemporaries, Baraka (then known as LeRoi Jones) was seeking to define himself in opposition to the past -- his own past, his race's past, and his country's past. As a member of the Beatnik group in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he was more interested in the possibilities of the form of his art than in effecting social change with its message. By the mid-sixties, however, his racial consciousness had become central to his worldview, and he became intensely active in the black political community. (Eahrle 1)

It was during this time, referred to as his "Transitional Period," that Baraka's unique poetic voice came to the fore. Baraka was conscious of the emergence of this voice, and would often address the ideological changes occurring within him in his poetry. In "The Liar," a poem written and published during this time, he mused on the challenges of embodying a shifting identity: "I am a man / who is loud / on the birth / of his ways. Publicly redefining / each change in my soul, as if I had predicted / them / & #8230;even tho / their chanting weight / erased familiarity / from my face" (12-21). This tendency towards "public redefining" would become a hallmark of Baraka's poetry. James Miller suggests that this is, in fact, the unifying principle in Baraka's art as a whole:

If there is any single preoccupation that runs through Baraka's work, it the theme of change itself, the endless question for appropriate vehicles of expression and action in a world which is itself constantly changing. (Literature Resource Center)

Baraka was intensely aware that even the most intimately personal self-discovery achieved in his poetry… [read more]

History of Modern Medicine Taj Mahal Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,190 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … History of Modern Medicine

Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is India's most famous architectural structure. It is actually a beautifully preserved tomb whose name is translated as "Crown Palace." It dates back to the Seventeenth Century and the reign of the Fifth Mughal Emperor as a tribute to his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal who died as the result of public rebellion against the regime after bearing her husband's fourteenth child. The original construction of the TAJ was inspired by the Persian Princess' request of her husband before her death.

The Life and Work of Galileo

Galileo Galilee was a Sixteenth Century inventor and astronomer who revolutionized man's understanding of the universe and the Earth's relationship to the Solar System, in particular. Among Galileo's most important contributions where the demonstration that objects of different mass all fall at the same rate and the confirmation of Copernican's view that the Solar System was heliocentric and not geocentric. Galileo was eventually confined by the Pope to house arrest for publishing his heretical astronomical observations.

3. Jean Jacques Rousseau

Jean Jacques Rousseau was a Seventeenth Century (1712-1778) political philosopher originally from Geneva, Switzerland. He contributed important writings in the area of human morality and its connection to government and society.

4. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley was a Nineteenth Century British intellectual whose father held a seat in the British Parliament. Instead of flowing in his father's footsteps, Shelley became a radical writer who vehemently opposed oppressive government and advocated political reform and atheism. As a result, he was expelled from Oxford University and all but disowned by his father.

5. The History of the American Abolitionist Movement

The official establishment of the American Anti-Slavery Society was in 1833, but the abolitionist movement against slavery in the United States actually predated that by decades. In fact, abolitionist literature had been published and circulated and conventions held in opposition to slavery as early as the late Eighteenth Century.

6. Verdi

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian composer who lived from 1813 to 1901. Among his most well-known operas that are still widely performed today are La Rigoletto (1851), La Traviata (1853), and Otello (1887).

7. The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is one of the world's most historic landmarks. It is located in Paris, France and was built in two years by Gustave Eiffel and completed in 1889. The structure is made entirely from iron and its shape is the product of a mathematical equation that guarantees its structural stability in the wind.

8. Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh was a psychologically troubled post-impressionist Nineteenth Century artist and painter from Holland in the Netherlands who only sold one painting during his lifetime. He committed suicide at the age of 37 but produced many works of art during a three-year period that are some of the world's best known paintings today.

9. Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka was a prolific early Twentieth Century writer. An Austrian Jew, Kafka was intellectually gifted but… [read more]

Poison Tree Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (585 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


William Blake's poem, "A Poison Tree," examines anger from the perspective of one controlled by anger. This poem is compelling because while it takes place within the speaker's mind, it divulges the levels of contempt of which we are all capable. Things occur because the speaker allows them to occur. He understands his culpability but, in the end can only acknowledge that he is only human and, as a result, hypocritical. The truth of the human spirit is that it can be tricky and plat many poison trees.

The scene of the poem takes place in the speaker's imagination, where the speaker realizes the dangers of the human mind. In short, he does not have to go anywhere to see how cruel people can be to one another. Neil Heims notes the poem states the "correspondence between the spiritual and natural worlds that is effected by the mind" (Heims) and the tree "grows in the human brain, not in nature. Taken from the imagination, the tree is planted in culture" (Heims). The speaker, an unidentified man, speaks honestly about how the anger grew for his foe grew.

The plot in "A Poison Tree" unfolds as the speaker allows his anger to fester. Because he did not speak his grievance, it did not leave him. Instead, it grew. It fell to the ground like a seed and it grew because the speaker continued to feed it. Neil Heims writes the central image of the poem is the tree, which is a metaphor representing "wrath" (Heims). The tree began from a single thought, just a seed, and not only grew but also bore dangerous fruit. In addition, it was lovely and tempting. Furthermore, the speaker allows his foe to eat the fruit.

The speaker…… [read more]

Modernism, Factors That Led to the Rise Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  3 pages (1,040 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … Modernism, factors that led to the rise of Modernism and the characteristics of the period.

Modernist literature is notable for its far more subjective and unreliable narrators, in contrast to the protagonists of the immediately preceding Victorian period. Modernist literature also tends to have a more fragmented narrative structure. Its tone is often pervaded by a sense of despair because of a perceived loss of faith in traditional institutions. Its focus on psychological interiority rather than exterior relationships and 'plot' also reflects a sense that it is impossible to know anything for certain, other than one's own thoughts and feelings.

The death and destruction of a generation of young men in the wake of World War I was one of the most significant factors in giving rise to the movement. Freudian psychoanalysis also was influential in disseminating the idea that a character's inner life could be just as potentially significant as a characters' outer life. What goes on in a character's mind might be more exciting than what he or she 'did' on a daily basis, as well as profoundly discordant with the protagonist's placid surface. The rise in scientific literacy gave rise to the cultural questioning of traditional religious and sexual more. Stream-of-consciousness narration, bitter irony and satire, despair at the failure of old institutions, and fairly simple plots (versus the long, epic novels of the Victorians) were all characteristic of Modernism because of cultural as well as historical influences.

It should be noted that, although Modernism was highly focused upon the individual, it was also profoundly anti-heroic in nature. In contrast to the upstanding moral protagonists of many Victorian novels, Modernist heroes and heroines were highly imperfect and riddled with doubt. They also lacked the epic brilliance of Romantic heroes, and tended to be ordinary people who aspired to greatness, to escape the limitations of their daily lives.

Q2. Give examples of Modernism using the following writers:

a) T.S. Eliot: Eliot's fragmented images of the "Wasteland" and their allusions to previous works of literature both satirize and express despair over the Modernist loss of faith. The Bible, Shakespeare, and many images of high and low culture are blended together to suggest that ordinary experience is all that is left of the great epics of the past, like the poetic refrain of "Hurry up please, it's time" to the lower-class women in the bar. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is an extended stream-of-consciousness narration whereby the placid surface of social life (where women talk of Michelangelo and drink tea) hide the painfully ordinary title character's burning feelings of passion for an unnamed woman.

b) James Joyce: Ulysses is an almost entirely non-linear stream-of-consciousness narration. The novel has no plot and merely portrays a day in Dublin, although it contains literary allusions to Shakespeare and other works in a parodic form, and has a non-believing protagonist in the form of Stephen Daedalus. Joyce's writings were frankly sexual in a way that threatened the sensibilities of many… [read more]

Various Books in Literature Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (984 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … young adult is advantageous.

Historical fiction refers to stories that are set in specific time periods in particular places. The characters are not historical figures, but they may be modeled after them. Settings are as genuine as possible, with detailed references to social, cultural, political, and economic issues. Historical fiction allows young adult readers to understand details that may be excluded from history textbooks, and therefore enhance traditional history lessons. Students are likely to become more engaged in the historical fiction than in the drier factual bits of history that accompany the lesson.

Write a three to five sentence explanation of the history and culture as presented in The Middle Ages as presented in THE MIDWIFE'S APPRENTICE.

Cushman's The Midwife's Apprentice explains the role of the midwife in medieval Europe. The book also explores mundane, everyday life for common people during that time including references to the poor hygiene that characterizes the Middle Ages. Issues related to gender, class, and social stratification are explored as Alyce tries to navigate her place in a complex society. Midwifery was a respectable profession for a female, albeit one of the only ones a woman could perform. The medieval model of labor included relationships like the one between Alyce and Jane, between apprentice and master.

Question 3: Create a Venn diagram comparing the main character in A SINGLE SHARD and THE MIDWIFE'S APPRENTICE. Make sure to include at least three points about each character. You don't have to drawn the Venn diagram, I can put them on a diagram.

Both Tree-Ear and Alyce are poor and alone at the start of the story.

Both Tree-Ear and Alyce become apprentices, Tree-Ear to a potter and Alyce to a midwife.

Both become determined to succeed at their chosen craft.

Both Tree-Ear and Alyce act with ethical integrity, and are faced with difficult moral choices.

Both Tree-Ear and Alyce grow up in roughly the same time period, the Middle Ages.

Tree-Ear is a Korean male, whereas Alyce is an English female.

Question 4: Define a Newbery award winning children's book. You may consult a source for your answer, but be sure to give credit to the source, and don't copy information word for word, which I know you wouldn't anyway.

The Newbery Medal is honored each year to an outstanding work of children's literature. Only American authors and books published in the United States are eligible to receive the award. Award winners are selected based on their contributions to their chosen genre within children's literature, as well as to American literature in general. Works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry are all eligible for the Newbery Medal, although multimedia compositions are not (American Library Association).

Question 5: Define non-fiction, and explain how it can be useful in disciplines like science and social studies.

Non-fiction is factual prose. Any narrative element in a work of non-fiction must be based on true stories such as biographies of historical figures or…… [read more]

Thematic Bridges in English Literature: Frost Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (590 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


Thematic Bridges in English Literature: Frost's "After Apple-picking" and Shakespeare's the Tempest

The passage of time, especially from the perspective of a human life, is one of the most universally resounding and consistent themes in the literature and poetry of any age. Given the symbolism and imagery in many examples of this theme throughout world literature, it is safe to assume that the correlation of other observed changes in nature -- the passing of the seasons and the seasons themselves, especially -- with human mortality is a natural and almost automatic human sentiment. Two very different yet remarkably similar examples of this theme, and the purpose of illuminating the transience of human life, are Robert Frost's poem "After Apple Picking," and the epilogue spoken by Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Prospero speaks more directly on the theme of mortality and the changes wrought by the passage of time on an individual's life and identity. He approaches the topic from a more pessimistic view then does Frost, as well, seeing in his old age and arguably even in his own mortality a certain sense of freedom and release. His repeated use of words like "confined," "pardon'd," "release," "relieved," and "mercy" all indicate the freedom from earthly troubles that Prospero is seeking. This figurative message of a freedom from imprisonment is also an implicit reference to the literal freedom from the prison of this world, and the salvation found in the next, as evidenced by the use of the words "prayers" and "indulgences later in the poem. The purpose of this epilogue, then, is an instruction to the viewer/reader on what truly matters, which is not so much the passing of the joys of this life, but rather the passing of the ills, the limitations, and the…… [read more]

Importance of a Theme in Works of Literature Essay

Essay  |  8 pages (2,361 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


Alienation in "A Rose for Emily" and "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

Alienation is a curious thing. While we would like to think that alienation is something that happens to people against their will, that is often not the case. Two pieces of literature that demonstrate this point are "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner and "The… [read more]

Poetry Explications of Emily Dickinson's Poem I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (599 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died

Life meets death in Emily Dickinson's poem, "I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died." This poem explores the notion of what happens after death, a topic for endless conversation. Dickinson's poem explores death and remains in doubt that there is an afterlife for to we can look forward. This poem is striking because it does not bring us the typical ideas associated with death. Instead, the poet brings us face-to-face with the worst-case scenario of death, which is that nothing happens, nothing awaits us, and all is black and still. This poem forces us to think about death from a darker perspective that does not bring solace. This perspective is disturbing and that is what gives the poem its strength.

The first stanzas in the poem tell a story of the early moments of the poet's death. While many think of death as a frightening experience, the poet treats the matter with a nonchalant attitude. The poet is aware that she has dies but expresses no real emotions about that are positive or negative. Instead, the experience is something that simply is. The poet is also aware of loved ones that are grieving her death. The second stanza opens with the poet seeing those she loved dividing her belongings. She is aware that there is mourning for her death for eyes were "wrung" (5) dry. These people were anxiously awaiting "when the King / Be witnessed" (7-8) but the dead poet does not. The most significant aspect of death is the fly because it is the thing that distracts the poet and it appears to be the only thing that the poet experiences on the other side of life. The last stanza takes us into the experience of the…… [read more]

Romantic Movement Explored in the Poetry Thesis

Thesis  |  4 pages (1,321 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4


¶ … Romantic Movement Explored

in the Poetry of Keats and Shelley

At the heart of Romantic literature is the desire to experience life fully without restraint. Emotion and imagination hold hands in an effort to capture the most subtle essence of being alive and the poets during this literary movement illustrate how significant emotion and imagination are to being alive. When Charles Baudelaire suggests that the word Romanticism is directly linked to modern art because it explores "intimacy, spirituality, color, aspiration towards the infinite, expressed by every means available to the arts," he is correct to aim his comment at the Romantics because they were about so much more than simply writing. In fact, it could be said that the writing was the result of the experience for many of the Romantic poets. Their goal was to experience life completely and writing allows them to not only do this but share their experience with others as well. Two writers that exemplify the Romantic writers are John Keats and Percy Shelley. These poets became intimate with their life experiences and it was their experiences that caused them to see life from another perspective. It did not matter that these experiences seemed trivial. Two poems that represent this notion are Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" and Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale." Each poem delves into the experience of being alive with an intimacy that represents the poets' desire to enhance the very aspect of being alive.

In Keats' poem, "Ode to a Nightingale," we see the poet experimenting with his sensibilities. The poem relies upon the experience to propel the reader into the poet's mind. Sight and hearing become invaluable tools for the poet as he attempts to be understood through the simple process of witnessing a birdsong. Imagination plays heavily in poem as the poet allows himself to fall hypnotized by the song. The song prompts the poet to consider his life and his identity and it leads him down a path that is not of this earth. The song causes his heart to ache and hit wits to become numbed. The song is leading him to sublime surroundings while he contemplates the beauty of nature. He states, "In some melodious plot/Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, / Singest of summer in full-throated ease" (Keats 8-10), indicating the power of the song to cause him to fall into a dream-like condition. Part of the poet's experience includes the ache that is accompanied with the notion that he is just a man. This thought brings a sense of pain and loss as he realizes that men cannot duplicate this type of song and the best they can do is sit beneath the trees and "hear each other moan" (24). Recognizing that the simplest of things, such as a bird singing, is significant because it is contrast to the busy action of the world. The poet even considers how his imagination could "cheat" (73) him while he listens to the song.… [read more]

Listening to Poetry Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,122 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1


Listening to Poetry

Differences in Reading and Listening to William Blake's "London"

Although poetry often contains both visual and audible elements, a poem is not a poem if it cannot be read out loud and if that reading does not evoke some sense of melody, some musical reminiscence. After all, poetry is, simply, set to verse. Many poems, when read aloud, give the listener a far different experience than when they are simply read, silently, to one's self. William Blake's classic poem "London" is no different. A silent reading of the poem, compared an audible hearing of the poem as it is read by John Stallworthy makes a great difference in the understanding of both the poem's cadence and its meaning.

When comparing a silent reading of the poem with an audible hearing of it, a few key differences can be noticed immediately. First, the connections between images that Blake makes become emboldened through the hearing of the poem. When one first reads the poem without listening to it being read, one is doubtlessly aware of the many images that Blake presents. Of course, the beginning of the poem involves a narrator who is walking through the streets of London "mark[ing] every face [he] meets" (Blake). Some of those faces that Blake sees include an infant's, a soldier's, a chimneysweeper's, and more. While this is information that can be quite easily gleaned from the written version of the poem, it is not until the audible reading that one becomes aware of their connection. When looking at the poem on the page, the reader certainly identifies the images of "every cry of man," and "ever infant's cry of fear" as important, but in the audible version of the poem, speaker John Stallworthy recites each of these lines with the same tone and inflection, allowing the listener to understand that they are equal in Blake's eyes. Each of the images is connected to the other because each is a different kind of "[mark] of woe" (Blake). It is only through Stallworthy's treatment of these images that the listener can understand how they are connected, which is the very essence of the poem. Second, listeners have an easier time understanding the very essence of the poem when hearing it read simply because of the way in which John Stallworthy reads it. Reciting in the tone of the mournful observer, and speaking in a British accent, listeners could almost believe John Stallworthy was Blake telling them about the deplorable conditions in his London. Thus, an audible reading of the poem allows readers to feel more connected with its contents; it inspires emotional connection and understanding of the culture in which the poem was written.

In addition to these most obvious differences between the spoken and the written poem, the spoken poem also allows listeners to grasp much more easily the musical cadences of the work. For instance, the spoken poem emphasizes the use of meter and rhyme, allowing the reader to comprehend its musical… [read more]

Children's Literature Thesis

Thesis  |  15 pages (4,810 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 15


¶ … children's literature to dispel the popular premise that a diametric difference separate good literature and good multicultural literature, as it asserts that children's literature may promote interracial respect, yet lack bias and still possess exceptional literary qualities.

Contemporary book publishers face the challenge of fulfilling their the responsibility to produce good children's literature, yet not compromise that responsibility… [read more]

Paul's Case by Willa Cather Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (876 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


¶ … Paul's Case

Faust -- In his book Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing Kennedy tells us only that it is a "tragic grand opera." (Quote: "Faust: tragic grand opera (1859) by French composer Charles Gounod.")Expand on his note. What is Faust noted for? In what other forms does the story appear?

Faustus is a great scholar who sells his soul to the devil for power and a vision of Helen of Troy, in Marlowe's dramatic version of the tale, and for the love of a beautiful peasant girl in Goethe's epic dramatic poem Faust. Although Faust has a great mind and is frustrated by what he perceives as the limits of his existence as a human being, ultimately Faust becomes distracted by petty, earthly, and sensual cares and sells his soul to the devil. He loses his chance at eternal life, the chance every person has to live if they are good and faithful and instead becomes obsessed with transient things. He is also very arrogant and thinks himself smarter than most mortals. Paul is a kind of modern-day Faust, although Paul has very little reason to think that he is superior to other people. However, Paul gives up everything for a few days in a fancy hotel in New York City, where he can drink champagne and gaze at socialites.

"Cordelia Street" (mentioned in paragraphs 19, 22, 24, 27, 51, 55, 57) --Who was Cordelia? What does her sad life symbolize that might be important in Cather's story?

Shakespeare's King Lear had three daughters. When dividing his kingdom amongst them after he grew too old to administer it himself, two of them (Goneril, the eldest, and Reagan, the middle child) praised him lavishly when he staged a competition amongst them for their birthrights. His youngest daughter Cordelia refused to praise him, and said she loved him according to her bond -- in other words, she was honest, and had no more nor no less to give him than her affection as his daughter. Lear was angry, and as a result, gave Cordelia nothing in return. However, Goneril and Reagan cast Lear out of their homes after they got their land -- Cordelia and her father tried to win the kingdom back, but Cordelia was killed after she is taken prisoner.

This story shows the importance of simple, homespun truth without added 'glitter' or false praise -- something that Paul never learns, even though he loves the stage where Shakespeare's plays are still performed.

"He had no mind for the cash boy stage" (paragraph 25) --Hint: Look up Horatio Alger.

Unlike a Horatio…… [read more]

Langston Hughes Thesis

Thesis  |  6 pages (1,982 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+


Langston Hughes

The Impact of Langston Hughes's Life on His Work:

Racism, Jazz and Travel, and Work

A man with a famous past, Langston Hughes one could say that Langston Hughes was destined to make a difference in the African-American community. His great-great uncle was John Mercer, the first Black American elected to public office ("Langston Hughes"). At his birth,… [read more]

Ann Beattie Thesis

Thesis  |  7 pages (2,371 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 6


¶ … Ann Beattie's "Janus"

Great literature is often associated with revealing great passions, and large events happening. The English literature produced during the nineteenth century can be especially noted for the grand scope and sensationalism employed by many of its authors. Charles Dickens stands out as the foremost example of these sensationalist literary figures. In his novels such as… [read more]

Integrating Literature Into the Math Curriculum in Elementary Grades Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  6 pages (1,826 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


Integrating Literature Into the Math Curriculum in Elementary Grades

The integration between mathematics and literature for the primary or elementary grades is a subject that has attracted considerable attention from educators and theorists. There are many verifiable online sources as well as offline journals and books that advocate the importance of the interrelationship between mathematics and literature - to the… [read more]

Poetry of Dennis Brutus, Nikki Giovanni Essay

Essay  |  8 pages (2,139 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4


¶ … Poetry of Dennis Brutus, Nikki Giovanni, June Jordan, and Amiri Baraka

While we always hear that life imitates art, it is also true and maybe even more so that art imitates life. Four poets that demonstrate how life is revealed through art are Dennis Brutus, Nikki Giovanni, June Jordan, and Amiri Baraka. These African-American poets bring life to… [read more]

World War I Journal Exercise 6.1A: Impressions Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (2,142 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


World War I

Journal Exercise 6.1A: Impressions of War

My most vivid image of war comes, most likely, from a movie I watched when I was only a few years of age. It was a black and white movie and there are just a few scenes that still persist in my mind. The action was sometime in 1944 and it… [read more]

How English Literature Has Evolved and Changed From Medieval Times to Romantic Era Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,129 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


English Literature

When surveying the chronological evolution of English literature over the centuries, one can readily trace the development of a style that shifts over time from a concern with collective endeavor to increasingly individualized forms of expression, which would culminate in the Romantic Movement. Whereas secular texts of the medieval period such as the Canterbury Tales were complicated works, filled with multiple characters and narrators, the Renaissance began to pave the way towards the exploration of singular consciousnesses. It was in the Romantic period, however, that poets ultimately sought out new ways of capturing something of the essence of man's inherent nature through the exploration of highly subjective modes of being. In this essay, we will trace the development of this strain through three representative works from three different periods - the Canterbury Tales, Hamlet, and the Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

Geoffrey Chaucer's the Canterbury Tales is considered by many to be the key English text of the medieval period. Greatly influenced by the famous Italian work the Decameron, the Canterbury Tales is credited with popularizing the usage of vernacular English in literature. It is one of the few great masterpieces of secular literature from the medieval period. The work takes the form of a collection of stories, each told by a different pilgrim on a pilgrimage from Southwark to Canterbury, where they intend to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. With its rich lyrical inventiveness, the Canterbury Tales paved the way towards the Renaissance - the first Modern period in English literature. Most of the tales were concerned with expressing universal traits of human nature. Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales in Middle English, an example of which, from the Wife of Bath's Tale, appears below:

We wommen han, if that I shal nat lye,

In this matere a queynte fantasye:

Wayte what thyng we may nat lightly have,

Therafter wol we crie al day and crave.

Forbede us thyng, and that desiren we;

Preesse on us faste, and thanne wol we fle.

During the Renaissance, the vernacular language that Chaucer and other Medieval poets had advocated finally enjoyed widespread popularity, with the advent of the printing press. Hamlet is considered to be the most famous literary work in the English language. It is William Shakespeare's longest play, and was composed at the height of the Elizabethan Era of the English Renaissance, sometime between the years of 1599 and 1601. The Elizabethan Era saw the flourishing of drama - it enabled Shakespeare to become the playwright he is known as today. Shakespeare's most beloved tragedy is set in Denmark and tells the story of Prince Hamlet, who is driven to near insanity in plotting to get revenge against his Uncle, who has killed his father, married his mother, and taken the throne. Hamlet in many ways posed a challenge to previous conceptions of drama - namely, the play focused on character, rather than action. In this sense, it paved the way for Romantic literature,… [read more]

New Start as a Theme in American Literature Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (2,430 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 6


¶ … New Start" as a theme in American Literature

The history of the American literature can be considered to be in deep contact with the history of the American nation itself. It represents a close mirror image of the way in which the United States came into being. This is largely due to the fact that one of the… [read more]

American Literature Edgar Allan Poe- the Tell Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (856 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


American Literature

Edgar Allan Poe- the Tell- Tale Heart

Poe's odd but brilliant story, the Tell-Tale Heart revolves around two main issues: madness and reason, or how these two can paradoxically coexist in the human mind. The story is but one of Poe's many pieces that describe a monomaniac disorder. Both monomania and crime are related through their irrationality. The monomaniac narrator of the story is obsessed with the vulture eye of the old man who will eventually become his victim. As he emphasizes in the beginning, his disorder cannot be defined as madness because of his precision of purpose and execution. His disorder is described only a heightened sense of perception, that makes him hear and see more than the average man, paired by an acute and uncommon nervousness. While the narrator is able to think coherently and plan his murder meticulously, he is obviously driven by an irrational obsession. At first, he is distraught with nervousness and almost oppressed by the old man's vulture eye. During his night watches in the old man's room however, the protagonist of the story becomes even more agitated because of the loud beating of his victim's heart that in his imagination acquires incredible proportions. His nervousness increases thus irrationally, until he commits murder. Poe is thus an avant-garde scrutinizer of the Freudian subconscious: he understands that the human mind is a complex mechanism, in which reason is often undermined by irrational and primitive instincts. Even if the situation in Poe's story is very uncommon and the disorder described is a very peculiar one, it can still find application in real life. The battle between reason and irrationality is one that I also find in my own life, even if to a lesser degree, since we all struggle with instincts and irrational drives at every step.

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson is well-known for her allegorical poetry, in which nature plays a major role. Many of her poems are thus filled with metaphors and symbols taken from nature, such as birds, butterflies or insects. In one of these pieces for instance, Dickinson compares hope with a bird, obviously drawing on the bird's ability to sing and fly high in the air, soaring above the storms: "Hope is the thing with feathers / That perches in the soul, / and sings the tune -- without the words, / and never stops at all..." The fact that the bird sings "without words" is significant because it emphasizes the irrationality of hope as a feeling. The last stanza however twists the meaning of the first…… [read more]

Poetry Anthology for Many Readers Term Paper

Term Paper  |  15 pages (6,487 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+


Poetry Anthology

For many readers, poetry has an aura of separation form the world, an ethereal quality achieved in sublime language that carries the reader to a higher existence. Much poetry has this sort of metaphysical quality, and numerous poets have nurtured this image over the centuries as they work their magic and express the ineffable in choice and powerful… [read more]

Children's Literature Diverges From Adult Writing Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,310 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


Children's literature diverges from adult writing significantly in tone, language, subject matter, and complexity. This is particularly true of histories. In the context of children's histories one of the most visible differences is a lack of fine detail, a significant reduction in the amount of information covered, and a taming down of events. While these are all standard, what is even more significant in children's histories, is the necessary blending of story with history. For adults reading histories, an interest generally pre-exists the reading. But for children, histories are often taught within the context of school and, therefore, predate or even spark interest. This means that much less can be assumed about the reader and a much greater care must be taken to not only convey the core elements of the history of the person or event, but also that the story must be engaging enough to keep and hopefully capture attention. The line between fact and fiction, between truth and legend can become especially tricky to navigate when writing histories for children about real characters who have become part of popular legend.

This is the case with Pocahontas, Davy Crockett and John Henry. Each of these real people have become characters in the fabric of American history and have become much larger and more important than perhaps they actually were in their time. How authors portray these characters, their historical context, and the reconciliation between fact and fiction demonstrates different views on what children will want to listen to and want to learn more about.

Jean Fritz' version of the story of Pocahontas, the Double Life of Pocahontas, is considered to be one of the most historically accurate and relevant works of children's historical literature (and one of the most award-winning as well). At ninety-six pages, this book is well within the attention span and reach of the middle-school reader. The strength of her book is found in the accessibility of detail and in the language used. Fritz's portrayal of this earliest of American histories is filled with idiom that a child would immediately understand. The illustrations assist greatly in this. She describes the passengers aboard the ships heading to Virginia as being "sick to death of each other," including biological details that children latch onto "John smith reported that he made 'wild vomits into the black night'," and a simplicity of concept delivery that speaks volumes but uses limited verbiage, "[the Indians] seemed friendly, glad to exchange corn for tiny bells and pretty glass beads. (Pocahontas would love those beads.)." Pocahontas herself plays a significant role within the book, but she is not elevated to some form of ultra-heroic status that so often becomes the case when relaying her story. The truth as relayed by Fritz is that Pocahontas was a girl who managed to live two lives in two absolutely different cultures but that the real story is what swirls around her.

This kind of structure and character development is also present in Mary Pope Osborne's Davy… [read more]

Middle Eastern Writers Contemporary Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,894 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4


Middle Eastern Writers

Contemporary Middle Eastern writers expectedly approach social and political themes in their writings. The writers' consciousness is inevitably influenced by the experience of suffering, hatred and conflict that dominates the Middle East. Some of the best known and appreciated Middle Eastern writers such as the Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali, the Israeli Aharon Shabtai, and the Turkish… [read more]

Romantic Poet Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,759 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Romantic Poetry

The term romanticism related to a period of European history associated with the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. Romantic poetry is an expression of the period, the emphasis of such poetry was frequently nature as well as individual expression of emotions and imagination as a rejection of earlier classicism and strict social… [read more]

Realism of George Eliot Term Paper

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Realism of George Eliot

George Eliot's work is engaging on so many levels, she draws the reader in to the web of the situation that is depicted. One of the most engaging aspects of most of her work is the engrossing realism. The realism is so intense that if the reader could close his or her eyes, while still reading… [read more]

Goblin Market - Christina Georgina Rossetti Literature Term Paper

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Goblin Market - Christina Georgina Rossetti

Literature can be read on several different levels. Some people read poetry or prose for sheer enjoyment or intellectual/emotional enhancement. Others analyze the characters or relate the theme to their own lives or other works they have read. Another method is a close reading, which is a more subtle and complex process that entails… [read more]

Focus on a Literary Theme Form or Mode Postmodern Literature Term Paper

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¶ … Mode: Postmodern Literature

Two examples of postmodern literature are Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas and Don DeLillo's White Noise. Both books are similar in that they both feature unique literary devices common in postmodern literature. However, they differ in the fact that Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas maintains the author's presence while White… [read more]

Children's Poetry Term Paper

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Children's Poetry

The book is entitled a Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children written by Caroline Kennedy and illustrated by John J. Muth using watercolors. It is a collection of beautiful poems by the Kennedy family. The 7 15/16 X 10 book has 144 pages, containing more than a hundred poems from the different parts of the world. It is a hardbound and picture book published by Hyperion/Hyperion Books for Children in New York on September 15, 2005. The illustration of the front cover depicts a little girl reading to her teddy bear in a bedroom. The book is sold at $19.95 in the United States as well as in the internet.

The book may contain simple language which makes it readable for kindergarten students who are fluent readers, but emergent readers may need the guidance of their teachers, parents, or other adults to help them read the book because of the relatively small font size and few illustrations per page. Children may find the book interesting because of the external and internal rhyme schemes as well as repetitions found in the book which usually characterize children's poetry so that they may easily appreciate the poems and join in during poetry reading. Joining in helps them develop or…… [read more]

Nature of Literature Term Paper

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¶ … American Literature?

The more broadly, deeply, objectively, honestly, and open-mindedly one reflects on the question of what is; or is not; (or should not be; or might not be; or possibly could be), American literature, the more complex the issue only becomes. It is like trying to explain "American Thought." True, Tocqueville did it in Democracy in America (1835; 1840) going on two centuries ago, but he would be much harder-pressed to define (if he even could) the vast complexity of all "American Thought" has grown into today (for better or worse). Moreover, today's America, in the first decade of the 21st century, is hardly the same place within which the Founding Fathers wrote the United States Constitution; the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence in the late 18th century. That century was the Age of Reason (a.k.a. The Enlightenment). Since then, other, later literary and philosophical modes of thinking and creativity have also included (and this is true as well for other parts of the world, especially but not only Europe) Romanticism; Modernism; Post-modernism; Post-post-Modernism. Keeping in mind all of those inherent challenges (and others) this essay shall address (or try to) the issue of what American literature either is or is not Clearly, what is often anthologized by textbook publishers today (e.g., Norton; Longman; Bedford, etc.) under the broad heading "American literature" reflects and ha reflected (albeit, arguably in a unique way) each of those various intellectual; philosophical, and creative modes and trends: from pre-pre-Enlightenment to present. To bear that out, one need only skim through any comprehensive American literature anthology (pre-Puritans to present) to notice the enormous amount of thematic; stylistic; descriptive and other diversity within.

What I categorize as "literature," on the other hand (American or otherwise) is anything written and published, even if it is very banal and dull (e.g., this year's IRS instructional and other pamphlets) or poorly-written or offensive in quality (e.g., internet and most other written pornography). Therefore, pornographic stories, although they are not to my taste, are as much literature (in my own although perhaps not others' view) as the wonderful, skillfully-crafted, often brilliantly creative and innovative short stories and essays published in the New Yorker each week. The latter I eagerly await and read as soon as I can; the former I can definitely do without! Still, each is literature, according to my own definition.

Webster's New World Dictionary (1995) is a bit pickier than I am, however, in its definition of "literature," i.e., defining the noun "literature" instead as: "1: the production of written works having excellence or form or expression and dealing with ideas of permanent interest"; and: 2: "The written works produced in a particular language, country, or age" (p. 303). I tend not to feel up to arguing with Webster's, so (while that is still not my own "working" definition of "literature" it is one I would definitely accept as being better-informed and more discerning than mine, even if still not the… [read more]

Consider the Influence of Islam on Middle Eastern Literature Term Paper

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¶ … Islam on Middle Eastern literature. Islamic religious thought and teaching influences just about every aspect of Middle Eastern life, and it is so with literature, as well. Islam has influenced Middle Eastern literature throughout history in any number of ways, and it continues to be an important aspect of much Middle Eastern writing today.

The most obvious examples of ancient Middle Eastern literature include the Bible and the Qur'an, both incredibly holy books that have endured for centuries. Thus, religion, and burgeoning religion, is at the core of Middle Eastern writing and literature, and that influence continues to this day. One historian notes, "In the case of the Qur'an, historians have demonstrated links with the Hebrew Bible, the Gospels, ancient Middle Eastern literature such as the story of Alexander the Great, the Gilgamesh legend, and the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus" (Arkoun 39). Thus, many of the earliest legends and histories of the civilized world originated in the Middle East, and eventually spread around the world as history, legend, and myth.

Even when Middle Eastern literature does not directly refer to Islam, the Qur'an, or Mohammed; it still carries imagery of the Islamic culture of the area. Historian Arkoun continues, "The exploration of this vast, interrelated literature helps to show the continuity and creativity of a religious-literary imaginary common to Middle Eastern culture" (Arkoun 39). The culture depends on a blending of literature and writing. There is a commonality to Middle Eastern literature, from its lyricism to its often spiritual nature, and that has inspired writers from other cultures to include Middle Eastern imagery and culture in their writings, as well. One of these early writers was Edgar Allen Poe.

Middle Eastern culture spread around the world during the 1800s, and became quite popular in many literary circles. Poe's writing reflects his knowledge of the culture, blended with his own style. A Virginia college professor notes, "Poe's little stories, 'The…… [read more]

Educational Research: The Literature Review Term Paper

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Educational Research: The Literature Review

The review of the literature is an important part of any study. Without it, there is no background of the issue and it is more difficult to understand what has gone before and what other researchers have found regarding the issue. In order to avoid this problem, the literature review must be comprehensive and discuss all of the relevant issues that will be the focus and background of the paper (Reed, 1998). What others have said on this same subject becomes very important when the current study is examined and this allows for the information collected and analyzed by the researcher in the study to be compared to what has already been done in order to determine whether the current study has the same indications for the issue or whether something new or different has been discovered (Reed, 1998).

New discoveries can lead to a re-examination of literature that has already been written on the topic and having the background knowledge of what others have found regarding the same issue can help steer the researcher toward the questions that should be asked and answered and/or the hypotheses that will be dealt with. Even if the researcher chooses to look at something new, there will undoubtedly be part of the literature review that will allow the researcher to have some background of at least part of the issue in question or similar issues that must be addressed, thus furthering the understanding of the researcher and the understanding of those that look at the subject in the future (Reed, 1998). It is with this in mind that the review of the literature focuses on key areas that are important to the current study and therefore allows the researcher to be aware of the direction that the study needs to take.

Process Followed to Conduct a Literature Review

There is a specific process that is usually followed to conduct a literature review, but some individuals modify that process somewhat to suit their own needs and abilities, which is generally acceptable within certain parameters. In order to conduct a literature review with a high level of quality the researcher must be very clear on what the research question actually is. Without knowing what is actually being studied the researcher may flounder when looking for literature. Once this has been addressed, the researcher will begin the often time-consuming process of locating literature. Having access to the Internet obviously makes a great deal of difference when it comes to how much literature can be found and how quickly, but oftentimes library research is still necessary.

When the researcher has found all of the sources (both Internet and library) that he or she wishes to use, then the researcher must begin to actually read these sources and determine what about them will be useful (Reed, 1998). Some researchers mark the pages of books or…… [read more]

American Literature Influenced by Mccarthy Term Paper

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McCarthy Blacklists

The Influence of McCarthyism on Literature

The McCarthy era began following WWII. Senator Joseph McCarthy started a witch hunt for communists. People were seeing, and reporting, communists behind every bush. Any activity which went against the status quo or the political power structure was considered subversive. Congress formed the House Unamerican Activities Committee and began a black list… [read more]

Why Christians to Study Secular Literature Essay

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Christians and Secular Literature

Both secular and Christian literature benefit society in disparate ways. Christian literature encourages discernment in what people read; that is -- encouraging Christians to read faith-based literature can help them explore their faith and look at different theories related to Christianity. At the same time, secular literature can be educational as well because it can challenge individuals to find a Christian message within the scope of the secular world. Not only can secular literature do the aforementioned, but, of course, secular literature has beauty to be appreciated and it can encourage individuals to help explore different perspectives and worldviews. In this sense, both secular and Christian literature can benefit society.

An important way in which secular literature can benefit individuals in society is by helping individuals relate to specific material with acumen. As human beings, we are constantly growing and stretching ourselves as individuals. Life is a constant process of growth and secular…… [read more]

American Literature What Elements of Free Verse Essay

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American Literature

What elements of free verse do you find in Aboard at a Ship's Helm? Identify three elements of free verse used by Whitman. Give an example of each from the poem.

Free verse gives a poet practically freedom to do whatever they would like with their writing, breaking conventional rules of how a poem is supposed to be… [read more]

Play? We're Heading Down to the Lake Essay

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¶ … play? We're heading down to the lake."


"Are you the new boy?"

"I guess so."

"Don't talk much, do you?" The dark-skinned young boy sitting on the step warily regarded the white and the black child on the other side of the fence. The day was warm, and he would have liked to have gone swimming. However,… [read more]

African-American Literature Term Paper

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Bibliography Sources: 2


What it does not tell you, is that it will show the reader (from vantage point of slave) how this practice is wrong.

The Confession of Nate Turner

In The Confession of Nate Turner, Thomas Gray is speaking for Nate Turner. He is slave who led the largest uprising in U.S. history. What happened was Turner published a pamphlet before his death that described: how and why the 1831 insurrection would occur in Virginia. As he was able to lead a group of slaves who: overpowered and gained control of South Hampton Country, Virginia. Once the uprising was over is when Turner would tell everything that happened with these events to his attorney (Thomas Gray). He would then take these conversations and distribute them as a pamphlet for the public to read.

In the literature, Gray is painting Turner as someone who knowingly violated the law and is unremorseful about the actions that they have engaged in. Where, he is seen as a fugitive slave who planned on murdering white people. Evidence of this can be seen with Gray writing, "Whilst everything upon the surface wore a calm and peaceful aspect. A gloomy fanatic was revolving in the recesses of his own dark, bewildered and overwrought schemes to indiscriminately massacre all of the whites." (Gray, 1856, pg. 338) This is significant, because it is showing how Gray is trying to make Turner out to be a criminal that is confessing to his crimes.

When you compare this with Turner's accounts, he believes that his insurrection is a larger plan of God's to end slavery for good. Evidence of this can be seen with Turner saying, "I was placed under an overseer for whom I ran away and remained in the woods for thirty days. I returned to the astonishment of everyone on the plantation, who thought that I had escaped to some other part of the country. But the reason of my return was that the Spirit appeared to me and told me to return to the service of my earthly master." (Gray, 1856, pg. 342) This is significant, because Turner is justifying how God wanted him to lead an uprising as part of his overall plan. When you compare this with Gray's account, Turner is taking a religious tone to justify his actions. While Gray, is making him out to be a criminal that is confessing to this crimes.

What both works are showing; is how they are critiquing white exploration about the institution of slavery. This is accomplished by having the prologue at the beginning of these works, written by someone who will try to set the tone of what is being read. While at the same time, this is creating a new genre of literary expression for African-Americans. As, they were able to discuss the ideas and issues that they believe need to be explored by the rest of society (the abolition of slavery). Over the course of time, this would lead to changes in views about… [read more]

American and European Literature Research Paper

Research Paper  |  6 pages (1,898 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Attempting to identify the differences between American and European literature is actually more difficult than it may appear at first, because while there are distinct differences between American and European culture in general, one must first confront the fact that nearly all American culture can trace its roots back to Europe and the first white settlers which came to the region. This is because any indigenous culture is generally not regarded as part of the American identity, due to a concerted effort to erase that culture through violence and political disenfranchisement. However, recognizing this fact does allow one to begin a productive discussion of the differences between American and European literature, because it reveals how the notion of a distinct American literature is dependent upon the creation of an American identity that claims a prehistory for itself that does not exist, as evidenced in the emergence of American folk traditions over a relatively short period of time.

Mark Twain both records and embodies these traditions, as his work emerged in a time of cultural and political crisis, and served to cement the notion of a preexisting American identity free from the particular political rivalries of the day. Oscar Wilde's work reveals this fact even more explicitly by contrasting the image of the European literary tradition against the American identity in his short story "The Canterville Ghost," which uses the character of the new American minister in order to represent the kind of manufactured identity which confronts and disarms the traditional European ghost. Thus, while one may note a number of differences between American and European literature in general, one cannot escape the fact that these myriad differences are inextricably linked to the development of the American political and social identity, a development which was explicitly oriented against traditional European notions of propriety, culture, and political organization.

Works Cited

Guillory, John. Cultural capital: the problem of literary canon formation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Kronick, Joseph. "Writing American: Between Canon and Literature." CR: The New Centennial

Review. 1.3 (2001): 37-66. Print.

Messent, Peter, and Louis Budd. A companion to Mark Twain. Malden: Blackwell, 2005.

Wilde,…… [read more]

Literary Terms Booklet Essay

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Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … unifies and permeates an entire literary work. The theme can be a brief and meaningful insight or a comprehensive vision of life; it may be a single idea. The theme may be also a more complicated paradigm. A theme is the author's way of communicating and sharing ideas, perceptions, and feelings with readers. It may be directly stated in the book, or it may only be implied. Example: Socialism as a means to cleanse society of capitalism in The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.

Metaphor -- A comparison or analogy describe to implicate that one object is another one, figuratively speaking. Example: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.

Internal conflict -- An argument or decision-making progress within one character's mind. An internal conflict has intent and the resolution is crucial to the success of the plot. Example: Brutus in "Julius Caesar" by William Shakespeare.

Dialect -- The language of a particular district, class, or group of people. The term encompasses the sounds, spelling, grammar, and diction employed by a specific people as distinguished from other persons either geographically or socially. Example: Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston.

Alliteration -- The repeating of a consonant sound in words in close proximity to others, or repeating a sound at the beginning several words with the same vowel sound. Most often it involves the sounds at the beginning of words in close proximity to each other. Example: "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe.

Drama -- A composition presenting, using action and dialogue, a narrative involving conflict between a character or characters and some external or internal force. Example: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

Autobiography -- A non-fictional account of a person's life -- usually a celebrity, important historical figure, or a writer -- written by that actual person. Example: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, by Benjamin Franklin.

Non-fiction -- A narrative that is based on actual events, facts, and persons. It is the opposite of fiction. Example: The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams.

Fiction -- An imagined story, whether in prose, poetry, or drama. Example: Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut.

Climax -- The turning point of the action in the plot of a play or story, typically the most important point of the story. Example: "Oedipus Rex" by Sophocles when Oedipus realizes he's killed his father and married his mother.

Biography -- The story of a person's life written by someone other than the person whose life story it is. Example: Gandhi, by Amy Pastan and Primo Levi.

Protagonist -- The main characters in a work, on whom the author focuses the most of the narrative attention, usually what we could call "the good guy." Example: Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Antagonist -- The character against whom the protagonist struggles against, usually who we would call "the bad guy." Example: Luzhin in Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Simile -- An analogy or comparison created usually by using adverbs… [read more]

Frankenstein and Romanticism Essay

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Frankenstein and Romanticism

Having long been viewed as peripheral to the study of Romanticism, Frankenstein has been moved to the center. Critics originally tried to assimilate Mary Shelley's novel to patterns already familiar from Romantic poetry. But more recent studies of Frankenstein have led critics to rethink Romanticism in light of Mary Shelley's contribution. Gradually emerging from the shadow of… [read more]

Modest Proposal Literature Is a Window Essay

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Modest Proposal

Literature is a window into the society of Jonathon Swift's time in which created he created "A Modest Proposal." It mirrors English society and addresses the concerns of the day with regard to the social problems of poverty, hunger and the blindness to those issues of inequality in English society. The piece reflects those problems and comments upon… [read more]

Human Commonalities in Literature in the Preface Essay

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Human Commonalities in Literature

In the preface to his edition of Shakespeare's works, the 18th century scholar and author Samuel Johnson asked why Shakespeare's plays were still popular among common people so long after his death. He then answered his own question by asserting that Shakespeare was "the poet that holds his readers a faithful mirrour of manners and life." (Johnson) He was popular hundreds of years after his death because his characters were "the genuine progeny of common humanity," they had characteristics that every human being shared and could relate to. (Johnson, 8) Shakespeare's characters and stories may have been set in specific places and times, but they contained universal themes and emotions which made them timeless. More than two centuries have past since Johnson made his assertions and it is necessary to ask if they as true in the 21st century as they were in the 18th. Two short stories which contrast Johnson's ideas are Ernest Hemingway's the Old Man and the Sea and Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut. While Hemingway's story contains universal themes which all humanity can relate to, Vonnegut's is strange and not representative of the common human experience. However, despite these differences, both stories effectively present the reader with an experience that can be related to by the common person.

The Old Man and the Sea is a tale that is set in the modern world and even contains references to 1950's American baseball players, but this tale of a Cuban fisherman is representative of the common human experience. The story begins with the "old man" on his eighty-fourth day without catching a fish. He is having a spot of bad luck, or a losing streak as they say in baseball terminology; something that every person has experienced. The other fishermen feel as though he cannot do his job, but the old man knows that he still has what it takes to catch the big ones. He has the drive and determination to continue and not give up. Eventually the old man takes his skiff out further than any of the other fishermen and his determination is rewarded when he lines "the biggest fish that he had ever seen and bigger than he had ever heard of…" (Hemmingway, 22)

But the old man is far from finished in his struggle to catch the fish as it drags him out into the open ocean and he does not come back to shore until two days after he initially left. During this time the old man struggles to maintain his focus and determination, to keep going when he is exhausted, to have faith that he will make it. These are all themes and concepts that each human being must face in their daily lives; a just representation of general human nature. The readers may not be Cuban fishermen, but everyone has had times in their lives when they are faced with the decision to give up or go on, to take the easy way out or… [read more]

Contemporary Irish Literature Essay

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Bibliography Sources: 1+


Post-Modernist Features of Contemporary Irish Literature

The Irish have always had a strong sense of itself as a nation and as a way of thinking. Although Ireland has often been associated and defined by its political activity, the core beliefs and opinions of the Irish are have been best expressed through literary activity. As a result, contemporary Irish literature has provided some of the most compelling and tragic literature in the English-speaking language. Building on the tradition of modern Irish literature and its themes of personal and national discontent, it provides a very honest, self-confrontational sort of introspection rarely seen in literature.

Contemporary Irish literature continues Modern Irish literature's focus on nationalism and religion and, more importantly, a uniformly critical treatment of those themes. However, Contemporary Irish Literature provides alternative perspectives on the themes of Nationalism and religion, often resulting in sort of self-reflexivity and parody indicative of post-Modernist literature in general but distinctly Irish in voice.


The "Steward of Christendom" is a play written in 1995 by Irish author Sebastian Barry. It follows the experiences of former police captain under the British regime in Ireland, Thomas Dunne,. It describes his fall in status as a result of Irish independence and the new political order that succeeds it. Dunne is very similar to the majority of Ireland, as a Catholic instead of a Protestant like the British. However, he is ostracized from Irish society because of his former association with the British.

The "Cripple of Inishmaan" is a play written in 1996 by London-born Irish author Martin McDonagh. Set in the 1930's, it describes the experiences of a crippled Irish orphan, Billy Claven, who moves to the Aran islands from the neighboring, rural town of Inishman to audition for a Hollywood movie. Inishmore is known for its poverty, isolation, and backwardness, yet is also known by the Irish, perhaps tellingly, for its "Irishnssness." Claven encounters much ignorance, cruelty, and mistreatment at the hands of his townsmen in Inishmore, which is partly the reason he wants to visit the island and the fiml crew.


The Literature of the Disenfranchised and Ignored

Contemporary Irish literature characterized by a critical, incisive evaluation of a modern society dominated by industrial Capitalism and Nationalism. Modern society, despite the lessons and the promise engendered by Judeo-Christian religion and the age of Enlightenment, is still a place where groups tend to dominate less ambitious or organized groups. The result, at times, is the dominance of the many by the few, as in Capitalist economies, and, other times, the dominance of the few by the many, as with the English dominance of Ireland. Although the distributions between such groups vary according to emphasis, it appears that the dominant groups appear to get smaller every day.

Contemporary Irish literature, though unique, shares many features with other types of literature by the disenfranchised and ignored. Its critical bent is highly reminiscent of African-American literature or feminist (concerned with themes of gender) literature. Just as African-American literature express the… [read more]

Don Quixote in Literature Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,268 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


And, other times, people let literature empower them to live better lives. For example, in the article, "Close Relationships Sometimes Mask Poor Communication," it discusses that people mistakenly believe their loved ones understand them better than anyone else. In truth, people have a harder time communicating with their loved ones than they do strangers. I read this article and empowered me because my husband and I have trouble communicating because he does not listen very well and I grow impatient with that. I want to be able effectively communicate with him so that he will listen and not twist things around. I tell myself to keep communicating short and to the point so he will focus more on what I am saying more rather than just hearing noise. Normally, I do not have trouble communicating with anyone else except for my mother, which is another loved one. She likes to talk over people especially me. However, through this article, it empowered me to change communication skills. Sometimes, by my husband not listening to what I am saying, it causes a big fight because he spends too much money and overdraws the checking account or I tell him that there is very little money in the bank and he has our five-year ask me if we can get McDonald's. Over the years, I have grown short tempered with him because of these poor communication skills. Furthermore, in a sense, we both want to be heard and understood as it has been shown in our text.

"One of the most obvious benefits of human communication is that it allows people to share thoughts, feelings, experiences, and views of the world. When you do so, you share the meaning they have for you, and you connect with others. A prominent early 20th century British psychologist named Frederic Bartlett (1932) believed that people are motivated by what he called "effort after meaning" (p. 20), a fundamental need to understand reality and the world around them. This meaning and shared view of reality is achieved through communication" (Sole 2011).

In order to fix this communication issue with my husband, I have tried to talking calmly with him. Furthermore, I have shown him the bank statement so that he could see for himself how much money we have. I have told him not to involve our five-year-old in arguments because it makes things worse. In the article, it shows the communication issue that I have with my husband is common.

"We know that literacy leads to empowerment, especially for women, whether in 19th-century Britain, contemporary America, or in developing countries today. The stats are clear: Give a girl an education, and she'll save the world. Sharing engaging and inspiring stories of girls who defy expectations and live happily ever after is a powerful way to encourage them to break the rules, embrace their power, and seek happiness -- but only if those stories are celebrated, not scorned" (Rodale).

Through literature, people, like who are the character,… [read more]

Stability of Wing Tip Vortex Over Rough Literature Review Chapter

Literature Review Chapter  |  8 pages (2,189 words)
Bibliography Sources: 12


Extant literature has been dedicated to the study of the stability of wing tip vortex over rough wing.The work of Beninati and Marshall (2005) for instance was an experiment which was dedicated to the study of the effects of the phenomenon of free-stream turbulence on a trailing vortex. In this study the duo investigated the evolution of turbulence as well… [read more]

African-American Women's Literature Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (3,455 words)
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African-American Women's Literature

Unlike any other marker of civilization literature demonstrates a vision of the social and psychological world in which we live. During the post civil rights era there have been a number of seminal authors who give meaning and message to their times and the times, which came before them. Literature during this period is a marker of… [read more]

Teaching Classic Literature Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,740 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


All these students' needs should be taken into account. This can only be done when the focus is their, rather than the teacher's, concerns in terms of lifestyle and history.

Lessons of virtue and criticism are much easier to learn from a message presented in immediately understandable form, rather than works obscured by archaic language and paradigms. College curriculums on the other hand can contain classics for those who choose to study them. While I believe that the classics have much to offer in terms of the intellectual faculties mentioned above, I also believe that more modern works of literature can develop critical and intellectual faculties as adequately as can any work by Shakespeare or Homer. For a school curriculum I therefore believe it is much more adequate to give students reading material that will stimulate them rather than tax them and eventually defeat them.


Cantor, Paul A. "Shakespeare-"for all time"? - politicizing the teaching of Shakespeare's works." In Public Interest, Winter 2004. The National Affairs, 2004.

Donelson, Ken. "The Student's Right to Read." http://www.ncte.org/about/over/positions/category/cens/107616.htm

Kern, Andrew. "Teaching Classical Literature Classically." Memoria Press, 2004. http://www.memoriapress.com/articles/classicallit.html

La Vigne, Michelle. "Firing the Canon: Teaching Literature in Secondary Schools." Notes from the Hartland, 2004.

Stevenson, D. "The Teaching of Literature." In Parents' Review, 2004, p. 102-108. http://amblesideonline.homestead.com/PRTeachingofLit.html… [read more]

Chinese Poetry Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (713 words)
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¶ … Chiang Lin-Chi Treats Me to Mudfish" by Mei Yao-ch'en. Specifically, it will discuss how it is typical of the tendencies seen in Sung dynasty poetry. This poem illustrates Sung dynasty poetry for many reasons, in fact, it is an excellent example of this type of poetry.

This poem is simple and easy to read, and that is one of the things that make it a typical Sung dynasty poem. By the Sung dynasty, poets were beginning to write poems that were less stylized and difficult to read. Poets were beginning not to use rhyming verse, (free verse), and this poem is written in that style. It does not rhyme, and the lines do not follow a specific style, they simply are arranged so that they tell the story of the fish effectively and with style.

Much of the poetry of this time referred to nature or natural subjects, just like this poem does. The author writes about cooking and eating a smelly fish, but he discovers it tastes quite good. The poem is written in simple language about something that many people have done, and it is even a bit humorous. The fish is the real subject of the poem, and the fish is part of the natural world that was so important to Sung dynasty poets.

The Sung period was an important one for poetry, because there were many poets writing and publishing their poems. Poems were expected to be more literary and less moralistic or philosophical (Mair 340). This poem seems simple, but it does have many literary qualities. It is well written, and it uses formal language even though the topic is not formal. For example, the poet writes, "Yesterday her invited me to dine with him / and I found it more delicious than the finest fish" (Yao-ch'en). That language is formal and very literary, but it still gets the meaning across to the reader. The message in the poem is not too heavy, either. Basically, the poet is telling the reader that they need to be open to new experiences, and not to judge things by their reputation, or…… [read more]

William Wordsworth's Political Poetry Term Paper

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Politics of William Wordsworth: A Comparative Analysis of his Poetry between 1798 ("the Tables Turned") and 1807 ("I Grieved for Buonaparte, with a Vain")

The political crisis that is the French Revolution that occurred in Europe between the periods 1789 to 1799 illustrates the influential effects of the Enlightenment movement and political ideas of the philosophes. The prevalent ideology of… [read more]

Pride in Literature Term Paper

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Odysseus's pride only causes him to get sidetracked on his way back home to Penelope, but the hero of Homer's Odyssey is not cruel and he does finally learn to temper his pride with wisdom as Gilgamesh did. In each of these three works, pride is featured as a major tragic personality flaw in powerful leaders, a flaw that causes hardship and death but that which can be overcome and learned from.

Pride takes on a different aura in the medieval epic Beowulf, in which the title character's pride is not portrayed so much as a flaw as it is an indicator of his bravado and glory. Beowulf's death is caused by his overconfidence in his abilities to slay the dragon, but he nevertheless emerges as an unsullied hero. In fact, he maintains his status and reputation precisely because of his pride, his unwavering belief in his physical prowess. Beowulf's pride does not become treachery or self-aggrandizement. Rather, Beowulf's personal glory immortalizes him and renders him a true victorious hero. Pride is therefore portrayed as a positive, empowering force that can be harnessed by a war hero and used as a weapon against fear as well as the enemy.

With the subsequent rise of Christianity as a world religion, pride takes on a far different flavor in world literary masterpieces. Pride is no longer just a character flaw exhibited by powerful rulers, and pride is certainly not a tool by which to obtain glory. Rather, pride is portrayed by Dante as an absolute sin. Pride as a sin renders the trait far more insipid than it is in classical or medieval literature. However, as Dante travels through Hell, he appears humble and willing to learn from his guide Virgil, but his removal from the horrors he witnesses in Hell gives Dante a different sense of pride than that exhibited by Beowulf. Rather than using his pride to promote his heroic qualities, Dante's pride helps him to feel superior to the sinners. Pride is implicitly mentioned as a deadly sin in Dante's Inferno, illustrating the impact of Christian morals on world literature.

Finally, Shakespeare blended the classical and Christian views of pride in his Renaissance plays like Othello. Pride is the title character's tragic flaw, leading to his ultimate downfall and indirectly to the deaths of his loved ones. Othello's pride is not heroic like that of Beowulf's or Achilles, although at first, his self-confidence renders Othello a charismatic leader. In fact, Othello demonstrates pride as an almost likeable trait, as when he proudly recalls his military victories to show how he won Desdemonda's heart. Othello's pride at first is machismo, similar to Beowulf's pride. However, his refusal to confront Desdemonda regarding her supposed affair was a mistake borne of pride. The severe impact of Othello's pride: including the death of Desdemonda and his own suicide, show that pride is as severe as any sin and is not simply a tragic flaw.… [read more]

Psychology and Literature Term Paper

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Bibliotherapy, or reading books to enhance personal understanding of self, can have a place in psychotherapy. Some books contain insights into why people act as they do as well as how our choices can have unintended negative consequences. It would not replace therapy but could give client and therapist a frame of reference from which to discuss some issues.

In the book East of Eden, people have to choose between doing the right thing or doing the wrong thing. One character, Cal, learns that he can actively choose good over evil, but Cathy/Kate, while she has freedom to choose, repeatedly makes poor choices and remains a negative character. She does not grow morally, but Cal does. In therapy, this book might be used to help a client learn to predict the consequences of his or her actions and to recognize that the behaviors we exhibit are choices, and that the person can change the choices he or she makes.… [read more]

Children's Literature Term Paper

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Symbolism in Children's Literature

Animals might be cute and attractive characters in children's literature but they usually carry great symbolic values. One of the most foundational examples of the way in which an animal character can be read as a symbol of society is found in Anna Sewell's Black Beauty. Within this work there are countless examples of the ways… [read more]

Multiculturalism Myth, Literature Term Paper

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Getting to the heart of this drama he is describing, which is far less obviously a ruse than the train making stops along its route picking up literary tools in chapter #2, one can't help but feel he is just toying with concepts in a sometimes-absurd little drama of his own. On page 2, he talks about the "cyclic consciousness… [read more]

Courtly Love Your Purchase Term Paper

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It was important for them to love without expecting anything in return. This intense devotion was basically devoid of any expectations of rewards and males were supposed to love without concern for consequences. "Well may that love prosper through which one hopes to have the joy of successful love and serving loyally!" Gace Brule declared. "But I expect nothing from… [read more]

Romantic Ideal in the Poetry Term Paper

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William Wordsworth

Like Blake, Wordsworth is also disenchanted with the evils imposed by society. He however focuses more strongly on the self created by the society in which he lives. In "Ode: Imitations of Immortality" laments the boundaries imposed upon children by education. According to the poem, children, who enjoy and appreciate everything, learn to become disenchanted by learning. The poet's cure for this is a return to childhood innocence and an enjoyment of nature. For Wordsworth then, nature is the cure for the blandness imposed by modern society.

Walt Whitman

Whitman's poetry disregards all rules, regulations and forces of propriety. He focuses utterly on the self, like Wordsworth does. In "I Sing the Body Electric" Whitman however focuses on the joy it is to be human without first going through the anguish found in Wordsworth's poem. Whitman's rebellion focuses on the complete enjoyment of the self, especially those considered taboo by society.

Each of the above poets therefore create their Romantic works through rebellion against the forces of society as they exist during the time of their writing. Whereas Blake focuses mostly on the physical discomforts imposed by society and severely criticizes these, Wordsworth provides a more gentle criticism and makes it the responsibility of the self to rebel against these circumstances and reconnect with joy. Whitman's rebellion is much more subtle, in that he focuses exclusively on the self in search of his or her soul. Each poem therefore reflects the dichotomy between the self imposed by society and the ideal of the happy childhood self that used to be since birth.


Blake, William. "The Chimney Sweeper."

Whitman, Walt. "I Sing the Body Electric."

Wordsworth, William. "Ode: Imitations…… [read more]

Octavio Paz Transplanted Languages Term Paper

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Some feel that the European influence was not restricted to language alone but was could also been seen in themes and plots: "All too often the nineteenth century Spanish-American novel is clumsy and inept, with a plot derived at second hand from the contemporary European Romantic novel' (Franco, p. 56) Other felt that old Latin American works mostly reflected a strong and marked European influence even on character development, dreams and aspirations of those characters and almost everything else: 'If heroes and heroines in mid-nineteenth century Latin American novels were passionately desiring one another across traditional lines . . . those passions might not have prospered a generation earlier. In fact, modernizing lovers were learning how to dream their erotic fantasies by reading the European romances they hoped to realize.' (Sommer, pp.31-2)

This influence has more or less endured and withstood the test of time. European languages and cultures left an indelible mark on Latin American literature so much so that some critics feel that this influence renders local writers incapable of producing original work. Candido (1980) argued: "We [Latin American writers] never create original expressive forms or basic expressive techniques, in the sense that we mean by romanticism, on the level of literary movements; the psychological novel, on the level of genres; free indirect style, on that of writing . . . The various nativisms never rejected the use of the imported literary forms . . . what was demanded was the choice of new themes, of different sentiments. (pp. 272 -- 3)

Latin American and Caribbean literature experienced a massive transformation when they found themselves in the midst of a transplanted culture. This culture gave birth to terms and phrases that altered the language and from this, emerged literature which was accused of lack of identity and originality. But it must pays to remember that Paz admits to the part played by locals in acceptance of transplanted culture and languages. "Our literatures did not passively accept the changing fortunes of the transplanted languages: they participated in the process and even accelerated it. They very soon ceased to be mere transatlantic reflections: at times they have been the negation of the literatures of Europe; more often, they have been a reply." (Paz, Nobel 5). This adoption and acceptance of transplanted language and its incorporation in literature must not be viewed as a solely negative experience. Some critics and writers maintain that intercultural interaction of this kind gives richness and depth to literature of both sides. Harris argues that literature is "subtly enriched within and against other apparently alien imaginations," and cross-cultural reading indicates that "each work complexly and peculiarly revises another and is inwardly revised in turn in profound context" (p. 127).

Octavio Paz's views on transplanted languages and their use in Latin American literature is thus an acknowledged fact. Other critics and writers have also pointed to this problem. Some maintain that this cultural and linguistic conflict adds to the beauty and richness of Latin American literature while… [read more]

Poetry Term Paper

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"The Faithful Wife" is written in a plain-speak prose, more casual than the previous two poems. The tone is so simple, in fact, that it fits to think that Greenberg would stand at the mirror, brushing her teeth, and thinking this poem to herself -- more than all else, it is a train of thought. She writes in the first-person and to her lover, whom the reader can presume is a lover in a committed, if not official, respect. The tone is direct, but hidden with a world full of litotes, and subtle understatements; she uses the literary tool to reinforce the delicacy of the meaning of the poem.

There is no direct rhythm or meter followed throughout the poem, although each line is spliced with caesura, reinforcing the natural tone of the poem. There is a noticeable lack of consonance and enjambment, allowing for an easy flow between the words and lines. The simple cadence of the prose is important, because Greenberg uses it to reach around the words and cloth the poem in intimate perspective. The construction of the poem makes evident to the reader that while the poem is to be read, the reader is the silent observer in a small room of conversation between two people intimately, and lovingly, connected; the observer has no voice, but is instead present to witness a quiet intimacy.

Greenberg begins the poem by saying, "But if I were to have a lover, it would be someone/who could take nothing form you." [1] The poem continues to describe how, if she were to take another lover, the lover would do none of the things she and the addressee do; they would speak a language, wear colors, and enjoy activities that the addressee is either unable to or does not enjoy. "He and I would speak/Spanish, which is not your tongue, and we would take/long walks in fields of burdock, to which you are allergic." [13]

If she were to take another lover, the lover would be nothing like the current one. But the word choice of her original sentence is critical, "If I were to have a lover, it would be someone/who could take nothing from you." [1] Contrasting the first line with the tile, "The Faithful Wife," does Greenberg intend to say that by taking a lover that is nothing like the current, fidelity is still maintained? Is fidelity only cheating when one lover chooses something present in the consummated relationship out of another relationship, too? Would it be cheating if the addressee of this poem, for example, were not allergic to burdock? Greenberg ultimately answers the question at which her discourse had been prodding: "It would be/altogether different. I would know him with my other body, / the one that you have never asked to see." [17] The partner to whom the wife is faithful is almost unfaith on its own; by not knowing the wife in the whole, there is a hole in the fidelity.

While each poet… [read more]

Message, Different Genres Literature Term Paper

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However, Millay's tone and voice is always strong and direct. This creates the sense that women are not as they appear. Even if a woman's appearance might suggest weakness or control by others, this does not mean that the person is not strong and in charge. This is one way that questions are immediately introduced, with the message to men… [read more]

Poetry Explication Term Paper

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Poetry explication of "Bushed" by Earle Birney

This is an explication of "Bushed" by Earle Birney. The following explication will deal with the story and situation of the poem as well as the central theme that informs its meaning. Special attention will be paid to the way that language and literary devices enhance and extend the central meaning of the poem.

The central focus of the poem is nature and the way that mankind reacts and relates to nature. The title of the poem also refers to someone who is lost or immersed in the wilderness of nature. The term 'bushed' usually refers to someone who has become confused and disorientated both physically and metaphorically. However the central theme of the poem, I feel, deals with the search for the an understanding of what it means to be human in relation to nature.

The first stanza or section reveals a paradox and a contradiction that seems to haunt the entire poem. This is stated in the first line of the poem

He invented a rainbow but lightning struck it. (1)

This line seems to indicate that the protagonist had certain ideals or plans but that these were "struck by lightning' in a metaphorical sense. In other words, there is a sense that a certain views about life that the protagonist had, have been changed or altered. The reason for this change is explained in the following two lines.

A shattered it into the lap-lake of a mountain so big his mind slowed when he looked at it. (2/3)

The immense power and meaning of nature has been almost too much for the protagonist and has changed his views about life. The immensity and power of nature "slows his mind' in that it is too much to absorb. The poet uses alliteration to emphasize this aspect in the second line - lap-lake - which suggests the beauty and natural rhythm of nature. Therefore the first section establishes the foundation of the poem by placing man directly in relation to the awesome meaning of nature. This confrontation in the wilderness or "bush" also results in an exploration of what it means to be human.

In spite of the "shattering" effect of nature on the protagonist's views and intentions, he perseveres in his confrontation with nature and builds a shack in the wilderness. He experiences the changes and the mysterious communications that nature sends by observing the natural phenomena around him. The poet makes use of colorful…… [read more]

Morality in Literature Journey Term Paper

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e., acts and thoughts that benefited society and/or the individual, Swift's discourse in "Gulliver's Travels" showed a pluralist view of morality. Gulliver's journeys enabled him to be exposed to various cultures and societies of creatures who have different understandings and interpretations of morality. One such example of a different moral culture were the Yahoos, who, despite their human-like characteristics, have an altogether different morality standards than humans. The Yahoos stood for everything the humans were against, but surprisingly, were considered by Gulliver as relatively 'more civilized' than humans are: " ... he looked upon us as a sort of animals whose share ... some small pittance of reason had fallen, whereof we made no other use than ... To aggravate our natural corruptions ... " His literal and spiritual journeys had taught him that humanity's morality can be contested, that in fact, morality can vary depending on the context it was applied. Moreover, his observations and experiences showed that despite the presence of moral standards, humanity has yet to prove itself worthy of the civilization that had been given them on earth.

Among these literary works, Swift's insights about morality as a process of spiritual journey and conquest for the true meaning of 'right' and 'wrong' was truthfully portrayed than Dante, Moliere, Shakespeare, and Coleridge's belief in good actions and thoughts as moral actions and thoughts as well. What Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" proved was that morality has numerous facets and can have multiple meanings and interpretations. Gulliver's experiences and integration in various cultures of the world led him to believe that indeed, spiritual journeys can bring one to the true meaning of morality, which is actually believing that morality can be varied, depending on the…… [read more]

Keats: Ode on a Grecian John Term Paper

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Keats: Ode on a Grecian

John Keats was the last to be born and the first to die of the great Romantics. He is considered by many critics as one of the most important of the Romantic poets.

His work encapsulates many of the central aims and intentions of Romanticism.

As a Romantic poet he found the meaning to life… [read more]

Frost Eliot Term Paper

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American Literature

In the works of William Faulkner ("Light in August"), Jean Toomer ("Cane"), and Eugene O'Neill ("The Hairy Ape), the emergence of the theme of racism was illustrated as a social issue that was embedded in the daily lives and mundane activities of people at any point or period in American history. What was evident in these authors' works was the illustration of racism as a way of life, as part of the mundane, wherein the phenomenon simply happens without sufficient explanation or determined origin. Moreover, racism was almost always depicted by considering non-white or colored individuals as inherently untrustworthy and has the tendency to commit deviant acts and behavior. Take as an example Faulkner's novel, which featured Joe Christmas, a man of mixed race, who had been associated as bad man because, among other things, he has "negro blood." What was noticeable in people's judgment was that they did not discriminate him due to his irresponsible and criminal acts, but mainly due to the fact that he is a man of mixed blood origin. Their judgment of Christmas's personality was based primarily on his race, and his criminal behavior supported the people's pre-conceived notions that he was indeed a man not to be given the town's confidence. Racism in O'Neill's play, meanwhile, was a metaphorical distinction that points out how humanity had regressed rather than improved as time moved forward and civilizations improved. His satirical play centers on the moral degeneration of humanity as it became thoroughly industrialized and modernized, hence, humans have become "apes" once again. Lastly, Toomer's selections in "Cane" reflected the seemingly prejudiced treatment of colored people, as was explicated in the story, Becky. Despite Becky's being a white woman, she was still discriminated because she "had…… [read more]

Post Modern British and American Poetry Term Paper

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¶ … postmodernism, author Peter Jacoby (1999) provided insights about and definitions of postmodernism as it relates to the art of poetry. Among these definitions of the postmodernist tradition in literature, the following quote embodied the nature of postmodernist poetry at present:

Truth is the product of interpretation, facts are constructs of discourse, objectivity is just whatever questionable interpretation of things has currently seized power, and the human subject is as much a section as the reality he or she contemplates, a diffused, self-divided entity without any fixed nature or essence.

In this passage, postmodernism was illustrated as a deviation from the modernist tradition of rational and objective thinking. Postmodernism advocates people's capability to express themselves in any form possible, whether these thoughts are logically sound or not. Indeed, postmodernist literature, especially when applied in the field of poetry, is a work in transition, a reflection of one's thoughts unbounded by the rules that govern poetry and human thinking. In fact, postmodernism is accorded the same treatment as modernism had when it first emerged: it was considered non-literary, but had managed to immerse itself as one of the dominant genres in literature for the past century. Postmodernist poetry, despite its being non-literary and sometimes, "anti-poetic," in form, structure, and principle, is still considered part of the ever-changing nature of written literature. And since postmodernism effectively portrays the state of human conditions for the 21st century society, it remains true to the promise that poetry helps convey the nature of human feelings and thoughts. For years to come, postmodernism would become acknowledged as another form of literary genre that marked humanity's progress towards intellectual development through the years.

Emily Dickinson's poetry reflects the return of Romanticism in the period of postmodernism. Identified as Neo-Romanticism, this new movement in postmodernist poetry reflected her contemplative thoughts on life, love, and religious beliefs. These themes were reflections of the earlier literary movement Romanticism, and Dickinson's utilization of these themes helped her poetry be categorized under the genre associated with Romanticism. However, her poetry is Neo-Romanticist in that she also incorporated non-literary elements in her poetry, such as not using the conventional structure commonly associated and used in traditional poetry. Her use of broken lines of verse in her poems was a technique uncommon in the poetical tradition, although this uncommon technique helped emphasize Dickinson's meaning that she wanted to convey in the poem.

Similarly, Walt Whitman's use of the free-flow form and structure and discussion of sexually blatant issues as themes in his poetry illustrated how he was one of the best examples of poetry exemplified in the postmodernist tradition. Similar to Dickinson's use of unconventional poetical structure, Whitman's style helped propel him to popularity from the modernist to postmodernist periods.

Because of these similarities in Whitman's and Dickinson's poetry, both poets are considered one of the early proponents of postmodernist poetry. They truly embody the spirit of poetry through the years because they were able to fuse the traditional themes commonly experienced by… [read more]

Style of Writing and Teaching Term Paper

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Bunyan also employs the technique of alternatives. He presents a problem and then gives some alternative solutions which help the reader learn more about such concepts as faith, logic and decision making. For example when Mistrust and Timorous threaten Christian, he thinks of the alternative escape routes present to him and employs logic to choose the safer route. (36) On… [read more]

Roles of Italian Women in Italian American Literature Term Paper

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Evolving and Multifaceted Roles of Italian-American Women in Literature: Through the Eyes of Women and Men

Whores. Temptresses. The Holy Madonna incarnate, and living in a tenement in New York City. The dutiful Catholic daughter, sent across an ocean far away to marry a man she does not know. The long-suffering wife of a construction worker or a wife-beater. All… [read more]

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